Determine whether it’s better to create the video content in-house or to hire an agency to handle it. It’s tempting to go the in-house route as it’s generally seen as the most cost effective, but that can be a mistake. As Sophia Bernazzani writes, “Videos are hard to make – and it shows. The internet is populated with far too many slideshows and photos set to music that are masquerading as videos.”
While videos used to be associated only as a branding medium for big companies, now it’s an essential part of performance marketing for every business with an online presence (aka everyone). According to a survey of 570 marketing professionals conducted by Wyzowl 85% of businesses regard video as an important part of their marketing strategy and 99% intend to continue to use video in 2018.
Paid distribution is super important as well, but how much you can do will likely be limited by your cash resources. You’ll want to think more strategically about where your highest-converting audience is and dedicate most of your budget there. And because there are so many different forms of paid advertising even within one single channel (Facebook has 11 different types of advertisements alone), you want to test every channel and every type of distribution method. Until you know which will give you the highest return, hold back on spending your entire distribution budget.
View count is important here, but so is your number of unique visitors and brand awareness and recall lift. Luckily, most video hosting platforms share these data points, so they should be easy to come by. Lifts in viewer perception are a little more difficult to find, but are often measured by surveys or quick questionnaires on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
The popularity of video also means that more content at the top of the funnel has to be in video format. In B2C it’s almost obvious. But B2B-people are people, too. Video content is more likely to keep the audience in the comfort zone, and they will not engage in system 2 thinking. System 1 autopilot mental state should lead to less critical thinking, less friction, and more conversions.
There are endless platforms for video marketing. YouTube, broadcast television, video boards and street marketing, you name it. The possibilities are endless. With a smartphone, consumers can access online video anytime, anywhere. The same is not true with traditional, paper marketing. With video, you can reach your audience wherever they are in a cost-effective way.
After you've determined the type of music you need, it's time to start analyzing potential songs. Consider the song's pacing. Songs with a steady rhythm are easy to change to suit your video style. Hoping to include your favorite, Top 40 hit? Popular, radio songs are usually structured in 4-5 parts and can be difficult to transition. Try to choose simple songs that are easy to loop. If you're looking for an instrumental song, be sure to find something that was recorded with real instruments. Songs made with digital samples can make your video feel unprofessional and out of date.
Owned distribution is always a must, though, since you own and have complete control over these channels. There’s the lowest barrier to entry here and they also have the most opportunity due to how many different options for distribution you have. If one form of owned doesn’t work, another surely will. And, if your goal is to capture leads, using your owned channels is especially crucial.
Earned distribution, like owned, is free. You have relatively little to lose using it other than time and effort, but unlike owned and paid, the payoff can be drastically more unpredictable. From SEO efforts that boost your search presence, to building relationships with influencers you’ve never met, you never quite know what your ROI will be — it can be enormous or it can fizzle to an end. But don’t skip earned distribution altogether! Take a little more time to think strategically about which earned channels will help you accomplish your video goals.
Before you start filming, set a music budget and research your local copyright laws. Copyright law can be very difficult to decipher, especially when you're dealing with digital content. Bottom line: Most music isn't free. If you use another artist's music without permission or proper licensing, you risk video removal and legal action. In order to avoid copyright infringement, you'll need to find royalty free tunes or pay a composer to create an original score. Royalty free songs aren't free to use; they're quality songs available for a single flat fee. This means you don't have to worry about paying additional licensing fees or royalties in the future. YouTube, Pond5, and PremiumBeat are all great sites to find royalty free music.
If you have lots of connections on LinkedIn and you're not really posting on there, start immediately. You can reach a large audience, especially when your posts go viral. This is a great place to convey the entrepreneurial journey. Talk about your challenges and tell stories. The more effective your stories, the larger your potential reach when you go viral.
Create a content plan that outlines how many videos you’ll make, what type of videos, and where you’ll share them. This plan should include a wide variety of video types from case studies to interviews, testimonials, educational videos, etc. According to the Nonprofit Marketing Guide, “the most popular video for nonprofits is storytelling about participants or supporters with 60% of nonprofits creating them.” The second most popular videos are fundraising appeals, which one-third of nonprofits produce.
The exact settings on your camera will depend on your model, but there's likely an auto option, a bunch of presets (daylight, cloudy, tungsten, etc.), and custom. Avoid auto white balance at all costs and opt for a preset or custom instead. If you have a top-of-the-line DSLR, there may also be an option to manually set the color temperature of the room, measured in Kelvin.
Footage: Think back to your audience, and the platform you’ll be publishing on and then peruse the library of footage available to you. Imagine you’re watching the footage with no text and no sound, does it elicit emotion on it’s own? Do you see a story developing? In addition to finding something dynamic, consider the look and feel of the people or environment in the video. You want to make sure that it is relatable and/or aspirational for your audience.
What does it take to do that? Simply put, you have to take a step back for a moment. You have to analyze and understand the basic mechanics of your message and how to effectively reach a larger audience without losing your shirt. The secret to all of this? No matter what marketing strategy you use, if you don't have an effective sales funnel and optimize your conversions, you'll just be throwing money away.